Ketone Drink Obese Adults Study

A brief study conducted in Seoul, South Korea shows that consuming ketone supplements may have positive effects on weight loss efforts, helping to lose more weight with the same amount of calorie restriction.

How the Study Was Done

Four researchers from Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea recruited 46 adults between the ages of 19 and 49 who had a Body Mass Index over 25, for their two-week study.

The participants were divided into three groups, with each receiving a drink containing the same caloric total but comprised of different nutrients. The first group’s drink contained a ketone to non-ketone ratio of 4:1, the second group’s drink contained a 1.7:1 ketone to non-ketone ratio while the third group consumed a “balanced” drink containing 63% carbohydrates.

For two weeks, the subjects were placed on calorie restriction equal to approximately 70% of their daily requirements, which created a deficit of approximately 600 calories per day.

The participant’s body weight, height, waist circumference, and hip circumference, body water, protein, minerals, skeletal muscle mass, and body fat mass, and blood lipid profile were measured at the beginning of the study, at the end of week one and at the conclusion of the study.

What the Study Found

The researchers found that all three groups lost weight — which is not surprising, given the prescribed caloric restriction — but the group taking the higher ketone-ratio drink lost the most, with both ketone groups losing more than the balanced drink group.

The high-ketone group lost an average of 13 pounds of body weight for the two weeks, compared to 9.7 pounds for the group drinking the lower-ratio ketone drink while the group consuming the balanced drink lost 7.5 pounds.

The scientists also found improvements in the lipid profiles and reduced appetite for those consuming the ketone drinks, saying, “The blood lipid profile improved, appetite was reduced, and fullness was maintained in the two ketogenic drink groups.”


We’ve seen several studies that show the possible benefits of a ketogenic diet for weight loss. However, this study’s short duration and use of exogenous (from outside the body) ketones makes it unique.

While the researchers found that everyone lost weight when their calories were restricted, the ketone-consuming groups lost more weight and the participants that drank the most ketones lost the most weight. And remember, everyone was placed on the same caloric deficit of approximately 600 calories per day.

As the team concluded, “…the average differences between the daily energy requirement and observed energy intake during the intervention period for each group did not show any significant variation. Therefore, it is expected that the study results can be explained as the effects of the ratio of macronutrients rather than calorie restriction.”

Learn More

You can find more information about this study here.

Photo by i yunmai on Unsplash